Stock Valuations and US Male Employment

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For the last 20 years, valuations on the S&P 500 have correlated pretty well with the 25-54 year old male participation rate in the US.  The now 13-year old structural bear market in the US is easy to see.  The recent turn down in this participation rate suggest caution on equity valuations.

MSCI Cyclical and Counter-Cyclical Baskets

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We divide the MSCI World index into cyclical (including materials, industrials, technology and consumer discretionary, financials and energy) and counter-cyclical baskets (including consumer staples, health care, telecom, utilities).  The relative performance of cyclicals vs. counter-cyclicals generally improves when the economic news is improving and contracts when it is deterioratinig.